As 2016 disappears from view and e-bike manufacturers look to what 2017 will bring, ElectricBikeReport.com outlines what it sees as the main trends that emerged in e-bike design over the last 12 months and of course the highlights.
E-BIKES GO MAINSTREAM….IN THE MEDIA TOO
Whilst its been known for some time that countries like the Netherlands and Germany are leading the e-bike charge in the western world (in terms of sales numbers anyway) 2016 seems to be the year when other countries long languishing in the doldrums really began to catch up – the US and the UK in particular.
E-bikes also made it big in mainstream media too, from the mainstream cycling press to ABC and CBS.
ELECTRIC BIKE EXPOS
The rise of e-bikes in the US was surely helped by a very successful round of Electric Bike Expos, which took place at eight locations across the US and gave attendees the ability to test a wide range of the latest electric bikes on the test track. Stay tuned for the 2017 Expo calendar!
Top billing goes here to Ravi Kempaiah from Madison, Wisconsin who set the Guinness World Record for most miles pedaled on an e-bike ‘non-stop’ on his 5,000 mile ride to San Diego.
SMOOTH, SLEEK AND INEGRATED
Clean lines, frame integrated batteries and semi-concealed batteries were everywhere in 2016.
Good examples were Estonia’s Ampler, which virtually looks like a non-assisted bike,
and Trek’s Super Commuter which must be one of the best crank drive examples, and is to be aimed specifically at younger riders apparently.
MORE E-MTBS HIT THE TRAIL
With regular e-mtb releases throughout the year it’s clear e-mtbs are taking off in a big way. Pre-eminent amongst e-mtb manufacturers are Haibike won the best brand of 2016 from E-MountainBike Readers Choice.
Shimano launched their E-8000 e-MTB crank drive system and the new Bulls E-Core range was one of the first to take it up.
For those wanter to tackle even rougher terrain, e-fat bikes were seemingly everywhere too with the introduction of Fantic e-fats to the UK and US markets just one example.
Or if you really wanted to go to extremes you could try the Electric Juggernaut.
Of course the fun factor has to be a big part; if you doubt that take a look at Specialized’s promo vid, featuring some rather nifty camera work that wouldn’t be out of place in a Hollywood blockbuster.
And another off road category has entered the electric bike world with the first production eBMX out of Florida.
POWER & CAPACITY
Bigger, more energy-dense batteries have been a continuing trend over the years of e–bike development. Perhaps least glamorously but most significantly for the future success of e-bikes, Bike Europe reported on the prospect of new bigger capacity batteries, made possible in part by big orders from car firm Tesla.
Bosch announced its new 500Wh battery system would be coming to the US and also that new models would be appearing with its staggeringly large 1000Wh dual battery system.